Tomorrow's Football Predictions: Matchweek 17
Tomorrow’s Key Matches
There were mid-week games for Premier League’s representatives in European competitions as well as a full round of Football League fixtures. As domestic football returns tomorrow there are some exciting games to look at over the weekend.
Everton are still without a full-time manager and will also be without Oumar Niasse tomorrow, who this week became the first top-flight player to be retrospectively punished for conning the referee to win his team a penalty. Niasse was deemed to have dived in the box as Scott Dann challenged him and is now banned for their crunch game against Southampton, who are a point above them in the table.
Premier League leaders Manchester City remain in fine form and they’re chasing down a string of records. The record for most consecutive wins in a Premier League season stands at 13 and City’s win over Leicester was Man City’s 10th in a row in the league. Few will be banking on Huddersfied to get in their way on Sunday.
There are two huge games at the top of League One as Shrewsbury play Bradford and third placed Scunthorpe host Charlton who are fourth – fair play to anyone who fancies separating those teams.
In The Championship Sheffield United and Wolves face strugglers Birmingham and Bolton in two games that look like easy predictions on paper, although we all know what an unpredictable league The Championship can be.
Who’s In Form?
You wouldn’t think it based on their form or league position, but Swansea have actually conceded fewer goals this season than Arsenal and Liverpool. That’s thanks to Lukasz Fabianski, who’s made more saves than any other PL ‘keeper (46). The Swans host Bournemouth tomorrow, and they whacked four past Huddersfield last week, so he’ll have to be at his best again.
At the other end of the Premier League form spectrum are Manchester City, Chelsea and Burnley. Chelsea visit Anfield to play Liverpool tomorrow in the stand-out game of the weekend. They had contrasting Champions League games in the week, with Liverpool throwing away a 3-0 lead to draw at Sevilla and Chelsea hitting four past Qarabag in a convincing win. Chelsea haven’t beaten The Reds in their last five attempts but recent form says that could change this weekend.
Wolves are the Championship's in-form side after a four-game winning streak sees them go four points clear at the top. Boro have moved into the playoff places after winning four of their previous five games, while at the other end Sunderland have won just one of their opening 18 games in the league this season, drawing eight.
What We Look For In Tomorrow’s Games
The FA set a precedent with Oumar Niasse’s suspension, and we expect to see fewer penalties this weekend. Whilst other Football League players have fallen foul of retrospective suspensions for simulation this season, it’s the first top-flight victim of the rule that’s caught the attention of players, fans and media alike.
In League Two, Luton Town are the last team Crewe will want to be up against tomorrow. Crewe had lost four in a row before scraping a win at Morecambe on Tuesday night and conceded 12 goals in the process. Luton on the other hand are the highest scoring team of England’s top 92 clubs and it could be another goal fest.
The bottom four Premier League sides are all winless in their last four matches. That’ll change eventually but it may not be this weekend. West Ham – who have won once in their last eight Premier League games – play Leicester tonight and not many will be putting money on the Hammers to end their miserable run against a much-improved Leicester team.
Of the others lingering at the foot of the table, it doesn’t look good for managerless West Brom who play Spurs at Wembley as they look to halt four losses on the trot. Swansea have also lost four straight games and have the worst home record in the league as they welcome an in-form Bournemouth to the Liberty Stadium.
Maybe Crystal Palace, who face a Stoke team who have been uncharacteristically unreliable this season, can finally record their second win of the season?
Sure Predictions For This Week
Tottenham v West Brom looks like a foregone conclusion despite the fact Spurs were well beaten by Arsenal last weekend. Their win at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday will have restored their confidence and The Baggies have won just three of 22 games against Spurs in The Prem.
Man City’s current points tally of 34 points see them in line to smash the current Premier League highest points record of 95 set by Chelsea in the 2004/05 season. Huddersfield caused a shock when they beat Manchester United’s 2-1 last month but we don’t see them halting City’s formidable run.
In the Scottish Championship, Brechin are yet to win a game going into their match versus Dundee United. United are sitting pretty at the top of the league having won their last three. They’ve also conceded fewer than any other team in the Championship, whilst Brechin have scored the fewest, which is why it’s our sure prediction this week.
How Our Pro’s Are Looking
Ledley has gone for a Wolves banker this week, and has backed Spurs and United to take three points from their home games. For the all-important draw he's gone for Chelsea's Saturday evening clash at Anfield.
Choose your seven now to play for the cash!